Let's Take Care of that Jack Casady Neck Dive

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by StudioGC, May 21, 2018.

  1. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    Love my Jack Casady. It's now my number one gigging bass. Been using it with my 60's cover band Carnaby Army here in London and the sound is perfect for what we cover. It's clear, punchy yet still gives a deep drown. My P Bass is for sale now.

    But, It's certainly not the most comfortable bass to play and if it didn't sound so darn good I probably would have stuck with either my P bass or Gibson SG Bass.

    So, one day while clearing out some boxes I found a Gibson headstock overlay that I purchased a while back from Crox Guitars. I was going to use it to repair a Gibson Les Paul guitar, but took another route and never used it.

    So, I layed the Gibson overlay over the Epiphone Jack Casady headstock...and woaaa, I thought to myself, if I can get the headstock down to that size AND add hipshot ultralite tuners, I believe I will have cured my neck dive issues. Not sure why they made the Epiphone so big anyway?

    Now, the haters are going to hate as usual with a headstock change of brand, but if they made one that size that said Epiphone, I would have used that.

    So, here she is:
    I used a heat gun and putty knife to strip off the (VERY thick) Casady paint and clear coat. Here's an example of how much bulk you eliminate using the Gibson headstock profile:

    I used dowels to plug the original tuner holes:


    Then clamped the bajayzus out of the overlay with titebond and let it sit for 24 hours (don't worry about glue oozing onto the overlay, you can sand that off without damaging the inlay) but, best to use perplex plastic to see that everything lines up when you clamp:


    Now it's time for some wood butchery to shave it down to the new headstock size: IMG_6657.jpg

    Sanded and ready for some clear coat and tuner holes:


    And there she is. Purists and perfectionists will cringe as I'm not particularly worried about it looking pristine as I use my instruments to play out, have fun and make some money. This was done to make the bass more comfortable to play and that works a charm. Jack Casady should have a word with manufacturing and see if they can get the headstock size down a bit as this would help balance issues immensely.



    OTC pic.jpg
  2. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I like the use of the rasp as a clamping device!:)
    StudioGC likes this.
  3. Clever. The bonus is you got a Gibson "open book" headstock shape out of it, and a lighter headstock.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Very tasty mod. You could have changer tuners for lighter ones while at it.
    matty1039 likes this.
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Sorry, not a fan of counterfeiting, even if you did it for a practical purpose.
  6. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    I should have showed the back of the headstock....The tuners are hipshot ultralites.
    GentProvocateur and Jazz Ad like this.
  7. Crickey, mate! Nice job. I see you also moved the strap button location to the upper horn. I've had my JC bass for 20 years, and think it's the bee's knees.
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
    StudioGC likes this.
  8. BunchyMutt

    BunchyMutt Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Love it. Especially because it's even more of a player now
    StudioGC likes this.
  9. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    I tend to agree. However only about four people in the world appear to want to own an original Gibson Les Paul Signature bass, and this clearly isn't one of those.

    My Jack Casady needs a total refin, but it will still have an Epiphone headstock when I'm finished!
  10. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    Give it a refinish, but hack off some of the HUGE epiphone headstock and it will be much better balanced. Lighwight tuners help also.
  11. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Probably could have saved lots of time and effort by adding a strap button under the neck joint. It requires a longer strap but not only does it replicate the hang similar to a bass with a top horn it also shifts the bass slightly left for a more comfortable reach. Worked wonders on my 6072.

    Having said that, nice work.

    60bass and StudioGC like this.
  12. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    That's a fantastic looking Gretsch.

    I like the strap button up on the horn, with the pin down near the center point of the bass, the bass still tends to lean outward and doesn't hang right (for me).

    Adding a backing block for the strap pin was pretty easy. Maybe 30 minutes work (minus letting the epoxy cure overnight).
    2saddleslab likes this.
  13. OldSkull75


    Oct 24, 2013
    Union Kentucky
    Did this fix the Neck Dive all together? I want to do this to my EB3
    StudioGC likes this.
  14. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    It did, very well balanced now.
    OldSkull75 likes this.
  15. OldSkull75


    Oct 24, 2013
    Union Kentucky
    I’m going to do this to my Epi EB3... is this something an amateur can do?
    StudioGC likes this.
  16. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    That was nicely done. Good solution to the problem, and excellent execution.
    StudioGC likes this.
  17. Coolhandjjl


    Oct 13, 2010
    That's not a headstock.

    THIS is a headstock!!


    But in all seriousness, looks great. Proportions are better as well!

    All I did was move the strap button (I also put wood inside the horn, so that strap button is not going anywhere anytime soon.)

    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    StudioGC likes this.
  18. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    That new red Casady signature model looks fantastic.
  19. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    Yes, I'm no expert and I got 'er dun. Just don't be scared.
  20. StudioGC


    Sep 20, 2015
    Pedro, our lead guitarist is mesmarized by the dazzling Casady.

    Played the Hope Festival today and bass was much more comfortable.

    IMG_6715.JPG IMG_20180525_202750.jpg

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